Genre: Teenage Fiction
Release Date (Australia): April 2012
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Received from Publisher.
Cara has always felt like an outsider, and since she moved away from her best and only friend, Zoe, she feels more alone than ever. Cara spends her time avoiding the popular girls who call her ‘choker’ following a humiliating lunchroom incident, and wishing that gorgeous Ethan Gray would finally notice her. Then one day, Cara comes home and finds Zoe waiting for her. With her best friend back, Cara’s life changes overnight, and with a new look and new found confidence, her popularity soars.
But when a girl goes missing and everyone comes under suspicion, Cara’s new life starts to unravel. Worse still, Zoe is behaving very strangely, and Cara begins to wonder exactly what her friend does all day while she’s at school. You’re supposed to trust your best friend no matter what, but what if she turns into a total stranger?
'Choker' by Elizabeth Woods was one of those surprise review books I occasionally get from publishers. I hadn't heard anything about it or it's existence until I received it in the mail so I was very curious about it. Like the name suggests, this book was a little on the creepy side, but it was also quite good. It's a bit of a mind-bender...
One thing that I noticed about this book was that before I even started it I had a dislike for Zoe. The blurb of the book made me suspicious of her to begin with which was a shame because I think I would have liked to have been able to make up my own mind about her. I'm guessing that it's possible I would have found her suspicious anyway though, because she didn't seem to have any redeeming qualities that made me doubt my suspicions and she was extremely manipulative.
I thought that the situations and the characters the author created were quite realistic. There's the girl next door who everyone adores even though she's a big bully, there are two distant parents that spend a lot of time away from home due to their careers, there's the lonely introvert the readers can resonate with and that dreamy guy who just-so-happens to be unavailable. It's all quite normal and typical until we are introduced to this character named Zoe. That's when things get kind of weird.
Even though this book was mega-creepy I really liked it because of the questions that kept popping into my head while I was reading it. This book has a lot to contribute to contemplation. Good books make you think and encourage you to question things. There were bits of the novel that related to typical teenage social issues and a lot of other deeper ones. Are the monsters of society inside ourselves or are they external forces that have nothing to do with us? Things like bullying, toxic friendships, jealousy, mental illness and revenge were all things I thought plenty about whilst reading 'Choker'.
This book was a lot darker than I expected it to be. I had expected this book to be a light fluffy read about a mean girl and found something that was much darker and deeper. It's definitely not for anyone who gets scared easily. It was a bit of a psychological thriller and I considered putting it down a few times because of how creepy it was. I just had to keep reading though and find out what happened next...
Overall, I give this book 5/5 stars. I won't be reading it again any time soon, but it certainly was a thought provoking read. If you enjoyed books like 'Imaginary Girls' by Nova Ren Suma or 'The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer' by Michelle Hodkin you should pick this one up and give it a go.
Your Favourite Blogger,